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wrinklesandme

Enchantment 7/31 Review

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We were a group of 19 people, 5 families, 10 adults and 9 kids aged 8-12. Overall, the cruise was a lot of fun, but most of that was due to the company.

 

We were able to secure 5 balcony (D1) rooms in a row on deck 7. One family also had one inside room across the hallway for 2 of the kids

 

We embarked on Monday at Ft. Lauderdale. Check-in was fairly quick and efficient. We then went to the Windjammer for lunch then off to the rooms. The afternoon was spent exploring the ship. My DD 10 and DS 12 were quickly elected Kids Cruise Directors as this was their second cruise on RCCL and the other kids looked to them as the experts.

 

We left three hours late because they had to switch out the lifeboat that had caught fire the previous cruise. My DH saw the burned out boat and was amazed that they would even think of leaving port with that. We got a new life boat from RCCL's storage at the airport. Didn't take long to replace and was neat to watch.

 

For dinner, we had four tables in one section. They were right next to each other and we had the same waiter and assistant waiter exclusively. Our waiter Gilbert was good, but not great. Just didn't have that pizzaz that we've experienced in the past. We also quickly found out that he was only 10 days away from going home. Mentally, he was already there. Our assistant waiter was clueless. Some of us were offered coffee, others were ignored. She didn't speak to us until last night when tips were being handed out.

 

Our Head Waiter was fantastic with the kids. They all loved his magic tricks after dinner.

 

Our first port was Key West. Not enough time there. We ended up walking all the way down Duval Street window shopping. Did the picture at the Southermost Point, and got a taxi back to front street. ($10) The kids wanted to go to the Pirate Soul Museum. It was good only because we had a coupon. Otherwise, not worth the full price admission. It was interesting and only took about 45 minutes to do the self-guided tour.

 

Left Key West at 2pm and then spent the rest of the afternoon by the pool. We were very lucky to get chairs close to one another.

 

Cozumel was our next port. We opted to do the ships tour to Xcaret. We met in the lounge at 9:50, took the ferry to Playa del Carmen, walked through the town to our bus and then to Xcaret. That took two hours! Our guide was not very helpful. On the bus he explained, in very broken english, that we had to do the River Tour first. Now, he never explained what the River Tour was so we just had to use our own imagination. This is where the problems arose. He told us that we would go to a place where we would put all of our belongings in a locked bag and the bag would be taken to the end of the River for us. This is where he left us on our own. We then realized we had to get into another line for a life jacket. One of the Dad's with us is thinking that this is a "boat ride" and he is right in his thinking as there is a picture of people in a boat. WRONG. This is just floating down a river with a life vest and snorkel gear. (That's if you were smart enough to grab your gear.) We walked down to the start of the river and jumped in like Lemmings! It was fun, once we got over the 62 degree water. It takes about 45 minutes to float the whole way. We then had lunch overlooking the dolphin swim and then enjoyed the rest of the park. Amazingly, it only took us an hour and 15 minutes to get back that evening. Overall, we felt very abandoned by our tour guide.

 

Our last port was Belize. What can I say other than this is just an amazing country. We booked a tour with Coral Breeze Limited and went snorking at the reef and with the stingrays and nurse sharks. We loved every moment of it and would do it again in a heartbeat!

 

We also got to welcome back a family of five, not in our group, who missed the ship in Belize. Talk about a cheap lesson for us! They had to hire a boat to meet us out at the Pilot Station. They were then given life vests and a rope was tied around them. They then had to climb up a ladder to the ship. This was interesting to watch and made me vow that I will never be late again anywhere!

 

The last day was at sea. The Chair Hogs were out in force! My DH was not feeling well and wanted to go to the Solarium and enjoy some peace. There were so many chairs with towels on them and no "dents" that it was amazing. Since he wasn't feeling well, he didn't want to deal with any arguments.

 

Our overall impression of the Enchantment is mixed. The ship itself is lovely and well maintained. The public areas are just plain crowded. My theory is that when they added the new section and increased the number of people onboard, they didn't increase the public space. Case in point is the Windjammer. You can barely get a meal there without the fear of bumping into someone and dropping your tray. We were on the Explorer two years ago and never felt crowded anywhere.

 

The best place for Mojitos is Boleros! Don't waste your time or money anywhere else.

 

Our cabin steward Carl was wonderful. He checked with the mother of the two girls in the inside cabin each time before he entered. He was there for us without being in our faces the whole time.

 

A problem we encountered was the Rock Wall. After standing in line for 20 minutes in the sun, they opened up. Got the people herded in to get strapped up and started to get things going. They asked for those who had never climbed before to stand to the side. We figured they would give these people extra assistance. Wrong. The one 8YO boy in our group was just told to climb. His mother and I were the only one's telling him what to do. He only went up about 8 feet and gave up. He was very discouraged.

 

Overall the kids enjoyed the Adventure Ocean. Two things I found disturbing. One, they rarely followed the published schedule. Some kids went in at certain times in hopes of doing an actitivity, only to be dissappointed. The second was the Scavenger Hunt. The kids were allowed to go all over the ship in search of clues and different items UNSUPERVISED. Yes, we signed the form giving our kids permission to do this, we just didn't realize that they would not be supervised. We found our kids running up a hallway. When I spoke to a counselor about this, the response was that they tell the kids to stay out of the passengers way and to stay off the state room floors. (yeah, okay and they really follow directions all the time. c'mon)

 

All in all, we did have a great time, but it was more due to the company. The food was good, but nothing stands out in our memory. (other than the great Mojitos in Boleros.) The entertainment was great. We enjoyed all the shows. Even got to see Quest for the first time. Amazing what people will do for a key chain!

 

Will we sail with RCCL again? Yes. On the Enchantment? No. We really enjoyed the Explorer two years ago and will most likely stick with the bigger ships. Will I book a ships excursion again? Never! With all the info available here and on the net, I will stick with an independent tour company.

 

Let me know if you have any questions.

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for the review. We are about to leave in a week for a b2b on her and it will be the 3rd and 4th time this year on Enchantment. We cruised her before the stretch and adore this ship.

 

I have never experienced the crowded feeling you felt, fortunately. I was always amazed that with that many people on the ship (all the previous cruises were sold out) we never felt packed in.

 

I totally agree with you about the short time in Key West, I'd so love to be there for a sunset. Love Belize, did the tubing there in June and it was awesome. Cozumel I could take or leave, I normally stay on the ship and let everyone else off :-)

 

We enjoyed the food in the Windjammer, especially the breakfast (omlettes) but found the food in Chops the best anywhere.

 

Don't get me wrong, I prefer the Voyager class ships as well, but for a 5 night cruise, the Enchantment to me is a great choice.

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mbtaz,

 

We are doing a B2B on Enchantment in Nov. I would be very interested in getting the details on how they treat the B2B passengers, specifically during debarkation, and re-embarkation. If you have a moment following your cruise, please e-mail me or post areview with the B2B info. Thanks for your help.

 

Indy Cruiser

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